I Work The Night Shift, When Should I Weight Train?

working the night shift

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I was wondering which part of the day I should lift. I work from 10 pm to 8 am and was wondering if I should lift when I get off work then go to bed or wait till late afternoon after waking up.

Since I work midnights I like to be at home from 6pm till work time to spend time with the family. I Was wondering what you would suggest. Also I think the site is awesome and has given me a lot of help. Thanks

- Bryan


Hi Brian, thanks for the question.

This question brings me back to the time I worked at a steel plant doing 12 hour shifts, from 8 PM to 8 AM.

I really hated this shift because it really screwed up my weight training schedule. I'd come home at about 8:30 AM and I'd sleep until about 2:30, have something to eat, take a shower and go to the gym for about an hour.

I'd head back home eat, take another shower and get my meals ready for my shift. I would usually take a 30 minute nap before I headed into my next shift.

I had to re-program my body to this routine. It took me about a week to get used to this routine but in the end, it worked for me.

You have to ask yourself when you have an hour to spare. You can get away with about 7 or so hours of sleep so you have about another 6 hours to spare before you head into work.

If you workout from home, this shouldn't be too much of a problem because you don't have to account for travel time. However, if you have to head into town to workout, you have to plan around this. 6 hours doesn't give you a whole lot of time but you can definitely fit a workout in there.

If I were in your shoes, I'd probably want to workout as soon as I've gotten up so that you don't have to worry about it later on.

This way, you can workout, come home, have something to eat, prepare your meals, spend time with the wife and kids, and maybe have a short nap. I don't think I'd wait until my shift was over to workout because I'd be drained of too much energy.

How productive are your weight training sessions going to be if you're sleeping under the squat rack?

Of course, this all depends on your state of mind after a night shift. If you find you have more energy after a night shift and can get away with a workout, than by all means, go for it.

However, if you're almost falling asleep heading home after a shift, you might want to wait until you get some rest.

It will take some time to get used to, or it might take some experimenting but you'll find a time that works out for you.

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I hope this helps


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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